This morning it was raining, cold and generally miserable; so, after walking the boys, eating a hearty breakfast and lighting the fire, there was really only one thing to do – a bit of whittling.  It keeps the mind from wandering, occupies idle hands, and lets me think I haven’t completely wasted a day.

I reached for some blackthorn and my pocket-knife, settled into a comfy chair in front of the fire and began to work.

Some peeling:

Then some scrapping, to smooth and remove any remaining under-bark. Look carefully and you might be able to see the difference!

A quick break in concentration to pop another log on the fire, then back to the serious business.  Some stop cuts and slicing, then there’s no turning back….

There’s stuff going on out there in the world, but I am lost in my own little part of it……..thoughts slowly subsiding as I get more engrossed in what I am doing…….some refinements and then the outline of the moustache.

Another log on the fire.  The place is very cosy and I’m making good progress.

Two hours after starting I’m nearly finished, only a good coat or three of wax to go……

It turned out to be quite a big tamper, probably better suited to the smoker of Danish Freehands, or the like.  That said, with a little care, it will be equally at home in the hand of the smoker who prefers those beautiful old examples of Brit-Wood.  The tamper has beautiful grain and colouring that will only grow more beautiful with the passing of time and use.

I hope that whomever becomes the new possessor of this tamper enjoys many, many years of happy, relaxing, contemplative smokes in its company – it will, with care, last them a lifetime.


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